June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Engineering Design Graphics
26.1601.1 - 26.1601.14
Transforming a Computer Graphics Department from Traditional Education Methods to a Polytechnic ApproachThe computer graphics department at a major research institution in the United States of Americais undergoing a radical transformation involving the transition of teaching methods, classroomstructure, instructor roles, and student autonomy. There are many challenges impacting thistransformation, including resource allocations of time, space, and faculty/student ratio demands,how to manage both ‘legacy’ programs for existing students concurrently with the polytechnicprogram for incoming students, and how to scale up the successful polytechnic modelimplemented in small cohorts to a much larger group.Additionally, the polytechnic approach focuses on skill competencies rather than the traditionalcourse credit tracking for student achievement. A competency-based methodology utilizesdemonstrated learning by the student and can be challenging due to a more open and student-driven process that allows for multiple paths for achievement. The polytechnic approach tolearning emphasizes learning by researching and doing, risk taking, and the blending of liberalarts into technical subject matter and education. The faculty members involved in polytechnicinstruction are active as mentors to the students, providing guidance as the students strategicallyplan out their own educational paths. This approach intrinsically motivates students and providesgraduates that better meet the needs of industry.This paper will document the process followed to transition from a traditional instructional unitto a polytechnic focused department, will report on the challenges encountered and overcome,will provide initial results and feedback, and will discuss potential plans for the future. Adiscussion on the concept of a polytechnic institution, its definition, and transformative naturewill be included to clarify the reasons behind this radical and somewhat unsettling approach toeducation reformation.
Connolly, P. E., & Garcia Bravo, E., & Bertoline, G. R., & Hassan, R. P. (2015, June), Transforming a Computer Graphics Department from Traditional Education Methods to a Polytechnic Approach Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24937
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